Thursday may have been the day to cast one’s vote, but for many Bangaloreans, it was a relaxed start to a long weekend.
Some malls in the city were closed till 4 pm, but it was business as usual in many of them. Supriya, an employee at Garuda Mall, said: “The paid holiday is beneficial for customers but not for us. It is a regular day of work.”
Many shops and business establishments in areas like Lavelle Road, JC Road, Kanakapura Road, Jayanagar, Shastri Nagar, Banashankari and Basavanagudi remained closed till evening.
However, most eateries remained open. Domino’s Pizza offered a 20 per cent discount on items while Vasudev Adiga’s offered a five per cent reduction to customers who have voted.
Residents Subha and Padmini said they would rather shop than vote. When asked if the shops may be closed, they said: “No way. We came with full expectations to shop our hearts out.”
While voting was an easy affair for state government employees with the government declaring a paid holiday, some others had to cast their ballot early in the day before rushing to work.
Nandhini, an employee at The Body Shop, said: “I finished voting at my polling booth in BTM Layout early in the morning and rushed to work.” Some others, like Syed from Shoppers Stop, took permission from their employers before going to cast vote. Syed said many customers came to the shop later than usual as they too had gone to vote. “Everyone should vote. We don’t know which party will come to power but by voting, you can ensure that you have spoken out on government formation.” A placard outside an accessories shop in the mall read, “Please Vote. It is our right. Don’t waste time.”
Aslam, who wrote the placard, said it was addressed to those who, instead of going to polling booths, spend their time in malls on the polling day.
Autorickshaw drivers had average business on the day. Afsar, an autorickshaw driver said: “We voted today. We are not anticipating many passengers because newspapers said today is a holiday.”
While many enjoyed the day off, there were some who felt the government need not have announced a holiday.
The Goyals, a couple who were shopping on MG Road, said: “This day has been a waste. Voting takes only 5-10 minutes. Why did they give the full day off?”